(Featured photo: Josh Ongena, Katie Beth Ongena, event co-chairs; Mari Epperson, an event founder; Katrina Bolin, Houston Bolin, event co-chairs.)*
The event benefitted Wesley-Rankin Community Center and was presented by Texas Capital Bank
The 5th Annual A Taste of West Dallas celebrated 120 VIBRANT years of Wesley-Rankin Community Center’s providing vital services to the residents of West Dallas at the Empire Room, chaired by Katrina and Houston Bolin and Katie Beth and Josh Ongena and presented by Texas Capital Bank.
It was a festive mood with just the right touch of cool breeze as supporters gathered for this indoor/outdoor event. Nine of Dallas’ top local restaurants and two beverage sponsors served up specialties as the sun set and the string lights draped from the rooftops lit the area. Inside, the silent auction welcomed guests as they entered the room, which also featured restaurant tasting stations, a bar, walls up-lit with decorative lighting and tables topped with vibrant centerpieces, echoing the VIBRANT theme. The stage was set with a wonderful balloon arch and decorated with show-stopping Hollywood-style letters spelling out A Taste of West Dallas, setting the scene for the upcoming program.
The chairs welcomed everyone at the outside party space and after the reception, encouraged everyone to join inside for the presentations. Taking the stage, the chairs said it was their honor to have chaired this event for the second year and thanked Presenting Sponsor Texas Capital Bank; Diamond Sponsors: Sterling Family Partners, Steven Ross and SYR Consulting; Platinum Sponsors: Katrina and Houston Bolin, Kay and Duncan Fulton, Dana and Jackson Harkey, Erin and Billy Young and more. They also thanked and recognized A Taste of West Dallas founding chairs Mari and Don Epperson and Kay and Duncan Fulton.
Gathering on stage, the Girls of Hope/Girls of Honor shared personal stories of their experiences with Wesley-Rankin Community Center and encouraged everyone to contribute to their upcoming trip to New York. One of many programs at Wesley-Rankin, the GOh/GOh program holistically aids in the development of young girls by providing a safe place to discuss female related issues while also equipping girls with experiences such as self-defense, budgeting, and the importance of the arts. A very special moment included a video of one of the students at Wesley-Rankin who participated in the Scholars program, which in partnership with the June Shelton School, provides tutoring for students with learning differences. Using Sequential English Education (SEE) curriculum, students learn reading and writing using tools that align with how they best learn.
Announcing next year’s co-chairs, Amanda and Robert Kalescky, the chairs introduced Shellie Ross, Executive Director, Wesley-Rankin Community Center. Shellie talked about the organization’s involvement with United Way, the Scholars program with St. Mary’s and made a call for donations. After a lively and spirited raffle winners drawing, with much happy applause, the crowd filtered out with a united feeling of celebration for Wesley-Rankin Community Center’s many years of success and looking to the future.
Participating restaurants included: Cake Bar, Estrella Y Familia Bakery, Frida’s Tacolandia, Frida’s Tacos, Gil’s Elegant Catering, La Moderna Mexican Market, Locura, Odom’s BBQ, Saint Rocco’s New York Italian and beverages provided by Community BeerCompany, Tepetan, Luckenbach Road Whiskey and assorted wines.
Learn more about Wesley-Ranking Community Center at https://wesleyrankin.org/
About Wesley-Rankin Community Center: In collaboration with our West Dallas neighbors, Wesley-Rankin Community Center identifies and bridges gaps in education, health and skills development by providing multigenerational programs that empower families to access their full potential.
*All photos by Thomas Garza
(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to represent Wesley-Rankin Community Center’s event and post this Philanthropy Lifestyles Scene.)